Les merveilleux

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When I read about a new bakery opening in NYC called Aux Merveilleux de Fred, I got curious. I found out that this Belgian chef already has a few bakeries in Belgium, France and England and focuses on just a few items. The shops’ namesake is the “Merveilleux”, individual cakes consisting of plain meringue disks layered and covered with whipped cream.

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Having never been to one of his bakeries and living too far away, I immediately wanted to try making some of those charming little cakes.

I have to say, though, it sounds easier than it is. Assembling such little cakes individually took me longer than anticipated because they are fragile. I definitely need more practice – which I’m sure my family won’t mind! They were a hit, even if they weren’t perfect!

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The Meringue:

4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt and whip until foamy.

Add the sugars slowly while whipping constantly until it is glossy and stiff.

Pipe or spread the meringue on parchment paper lined baking sheets into small disks. I got about 16 disks, which makes 8 cakes. It all depends on the size of your disks.

Bake for about 30 minutes and let cool completely.

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Basic whipped cream filling:

about 2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar

Variations:

Add 2 tbsp of cocoa and/or 1/4 tsp espresso powder per cup of whipping cream.
Instead of the sugar, add 2 tbsp of strawberry syrup to the cream.
The nice thing is that you don’t have to make all the cakes with the same flavour!

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Finishing:

Layer two disks with the whipped cream, cover the top and sides and add chocolate shavings all around. Watch them disappear!

 

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